As schools across the country grapple with bringing kids back into the classroom, parents — and teachers — are worried about safety. We asked pediatricians, infectious disease specialists and education experts for help evaluating school district plans. What we learned: There’s no such thing as zero risk, but certain practices can lower the risk of an outbreak at school and keep kids, teachers and families safer.
With so much about school reopenings around the nation still unknown, one thing seems certain: If schools do reopen for in-person learning, many of those same schools will require children to wear masks. Even if your child has become accustomed to wearing a mask to enter a store or play on the playground, chances are even the most compliant best mask-wearers have yet to wear one for seven hours a day, as they may be expected to in school.
It’s still summer, yes. But now is prime time to slowly start to plan for what may be the most important back-to-school season your kid will ever face. While you may not know what the exact situation will be in terms of schools reopening in your state, you can rest assured there will be some level of distance learning in play.
Plans for “reopening the economy” are plowing ahead even as new cases of the coronavirus — and our national death toll — continue their steady climb upwards. More bars, restaurants, bookstores, hair salons and all kinds of undeniably non-essential businesses are opening each day. But the discussion of if and how to open in-person schools this fall remains one of the most fraught.
Since schools aren’t hospitals, the school nurse will be one of the sole medically trained guards against COVID-19. This isn’t radical. A nurse should do a nurse’s job. But there are very few full-time nurses in American schools.